American super group, Scour, have released their second EP. That EP is called Red and it was released via Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records. Scour are a super group with Phil Anselmo at the front. Scour released their self titled debut EP back in 2016.
Along with Phil Anselmo, Scour are John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer), Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation), Chase Fraser (Animosity) and Jesse Schobel (Strong Intention).
Phil is no stranger to a super group or a side project. Whether recording for Down, Superjoint or Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, there have always been a plethora of other band’s and ideas he is involved in. He has already announced plans for a new project, called En Minor, which we should hear more of in 2018. For now though, he has his attention turned fully to Scour and the vaguely named Red.
Scour play more of a blackened heavy metal band then the deep south, groove inspired metal we might normally associate with Phil. Red has 6 tracks on it in total and is just 16 minutes long all in. Everything about the EP seems understated, perhaps purposely. It is all about being direct – one word, no fluff. From an EP simply called Red to the six tracks with their blunt, one word titles like Bleak or Shank.
The album starts off with Red, the title track which gives a pretty instant insight of the album style as a whole. Heaviness is the order of the day here and this track is heavy. Blast beat drum patterns, a basic but chunky riff and a high pitched lead guitar sound authentically blackened and the vocals are unclean, dark and powerful. It is a decent start and a decent extreme metal track though, while it is enjoyable, it isn’t really anything I haven’t heard before.
That is really the story of the whole album. Enjoyable, heavy black/grind metal that is fun to listen too while simultaneously being pretty standard, uninspiring genre filling material. Songs like Bleak are uncompromising and full of intensity. Phil’s vocals throughout the album are really strong and very heavy, reaching levels of black metal I didn’t know he had in him. On Bleak though, he sounds at his best with tons of enthusiasm and maleficence. Other songs like Barricades also have some really great melodies played along and, while the riffs are often standard, these intricate melodic backing lines show how talented the guitarists here are.
There is time for an instrumental too, called Sentenced which is alright. There is a bit of a chant at the beginning which gives it a nice black metal feel and the guitars have a nice eerie tone to them. Otherwise, it is pretty standard fare. The EP ends with Shank which is the best song on the album. Phil sounds great here, there is a decent riff, strong bass lines and furious drums. There are also patches of intricate, atmospheric melody that elevate the song to higher places.
There is a lot to like about Red. I am surprised by how black metal and how strong Phil sounds. The musicianship is great and the album is mixed and mastered well giving it an authentic extreme metal feel. The negatives though are that it is very short and it is lacking in originality and identity. There is nothing on here that would make Scour stand out as the band pushing a genre. They are a super group, having some fun. Good songs, loads of enthusiasm and energy and plenty of heaviness make Red well worth a listen but it is unlikely to be an album you will come back to time and time again.
You can pick up a copy of Red at Scour’s Bandcamp page here. Red is also available at all the usual streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. You can also get it via the links below this article. Find out more about Scour on Facebook and on Instagram to keep up to date with information on their music and possible tours. Be sure to like and follow them while you are there.
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Red by Scour (Housecore Records)
The Final Score - 7/10